Tag Archives: powdered sugar

Chocolate Cream Pie with Lactaid® Whole Milk

Lactaid® whole milk is new to me, but I’ve been trying to cook with it, mostly for things only my husband will eat that call for milk. It has more sugars than regular milk, and that can’t be good for me. So, I’ll be using it for chocolate desserts that don’t appeal to me, like this chocolate cream pie. I was concerned about whether it would set like a filling with regular milk. I tried it once, using tapioca starch for the thickening, but it would not set up at all, even though it seemed to thicken in the pan as I was cooking it. So I tried it again with the traditional cornstarch, and it came out fine, as you can see.

The recipe comes from my old Betty Crocker’s New Picture Cook Book (1961), p. 354. It has the option of using unsweetened baking chocolate or cocoa powder. I used the latter. I was out of granulated sugar, so I substituted powdered sugar 1:1, since the milk is sweeter than regular milk. The recipe reflects my choices.

Chocolate Cream Pie with Lactaid® Whole Milk

  • Servings: 1 9-inch pie
  • Difficulty: easy
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I made a pie crust from refrigerated dough and let it cool while I cooked the filling.

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

4 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 cup cocoa

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups Lactaid® whole milk

3 egg yolks, beaten

1 tablespoon butter

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

  1. Mix the powdered sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, and salt in a large saucepan.
  2. Slowly whisk in milk until all the cocoa is dissolved.
  3. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the filling thickens and boils. Boil for 1 minute.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat, and quickly whisk about half of the filling mixture into the egg yolks; then pour the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan and return to the heat.
  5. Boil the mixture for another minute, whisking constantly.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.
  7. Pour into baked pie shell and cool on counter or in refrigerator.

I hear that it’s very creamy and plenty sweet, even though powdered sugar is usually not a 1:1 substitute for granulated. It looks so good, I almost wish I liked chocolate.

Improved Cheese Danish Bars

A few weeks ago, I tried the popular web recipe for Cream Cheese Squares and I noted that I thought they were overly sweet. Here’s my original post with a link to a video of the original recipe. I also suggested some other ways to improve the recipe, and here’s a much better version that is closer to a cream cheese danish, but still in bar form:

Cheese Danish Bars with Puff Pastry

  • Servings: 12 bars
  • Difficulty: easy
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Preheat oven to 375°

Butter an oblong baking dish, no bigger than 13″ x 9″

2 sheets frozen puff pastry, just thawed

2 8oz packages cream cheese

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla (you could use almond extract to complement the same in the icing)

  1. Mix cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla in large bowl until smooth and fluffy.
  2. Roll each puff pastry sheet on floured surface to fit your baking dish.
  3. Lay first sheet in bottom of buttered dish. It’s okay if it goes up the sides a little, but not necessary.
  4. Spread cream cheese mixture over pastry sheet up to edges, but not touching dish, to avoid browning the filling.
  5. Lay second pastry sheet over top of filling.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until pastry is puffed and browned. Once the pastry puffs, it will brown quickly, so you might want to start peeking at 15 minutes, just to see how your oven bakes. When those little bits of butter in the pastry explode the flour into its flaky layers, it finishes quickly.
  7. Set dish on rack to cool. The pastry will sink a little as it cools.
  8. Cut in bars while still a little warm.
  9. Cool completely and drizzle with icing (below). Top with sliced almonds.

Quick almond icing:

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon milk, half and half, or cream

2 tablespoons soft butter

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

  1. Mix all ingredients until smooth. I always put a little butter in my powdered sugar icing to give it more body, as well as a better flavor.
  2. Drizzle over cooled bars.

Panna Cotta with Almond Milk

I had heard the name panna cotta before but never looked into it until I read about it on And She Cooks. The pictures made me look, but I was fascinated to find out that it is like a custard, only made with gelatin instead of eggs. That sounds easier, but then I read elsewhere about people not dissolving their gelatin enough or boiling it to death (literally) so that it doesn’t set. As I write this introduction, I am not confident that mine will set and four hours seems like a long time to wait.

I made a simple raspberry sauce to go on mine—really, it took about five minutes—and grated chocolate to go over that as garnish. I figure even if it doesn’t set up, I can pour it in a bowl and it will be like a sweet soup with raspberries and chocolate.

Voila! It worked.

Panna Cotta with Almond Milk

  • Servings: 6 half cup servings
  • Difficulty: easy
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Panna Cotta

This recipe is adapted from “How to Make Panna Cotta” at The Kitchn.

From the original recipe, I substituted a combination of almond milk and half and half, and I used vanilla bean paste* instead of regular vanilla.

1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk

1 1/2 cups half and half

3 teaspoons gelatin

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla*

a pinch of salt

I tried to follow the instructions, but was a little put off by the warnings not to boil the milk and gelatin mixture or to boil the milk at all, so I hovered over the pot and was afraid the gelatin might not have completely dissolved. Here’s how I did it:

  1. Measure almond milk and half and half into large measuring cup. Pour about half of it into a saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Wait 5 minutes.
  2. The surface of the milk really does wrinkle, as the instructions state, so I turned the heat to low and whisked for 2 minutes while the milk warmed.
  3. Add the sugar and continue to whisk and warm the mixture. It did not seem to dissolve as quickly as the instructions stated, but when I saw steam rise from the milk, I did take it off the heat, as instructed, hoping that it was dissolved. I continued to whisk it in the warmed pan for another few minutes, just to be a little more sure.
  4. Add the rest of the milks, vanilla, and salt, whisking until well mixed. See the note below on why you should stick to regular liquid vanilla instead of the vanilla bean paste I used.
  5. Pour into small dishes that have been sprayed lightly with cooking spray—I used 6 coffee cups that are part of our dinnerware set, because when else would I use those cups?

Now they chill in the refrigerator for at least four hours.

*I tried using vanilla bean paste, but it would not suspend in the runny liquid, and the vanilla seeds fell to the bottom of the cups, on top when unmolded. Just use vanilla. Save the paste for an egg custard which is thick before you pour it in molds. It didn’t affect the taste, except that all the seeds are in that one bite at the top.

Quick Raspberry Sauce

2 pints fresh raspberries

2 cups powdered sugar

splash of lemon juice (maybe a tablespoon)

grated chocolate for garnish

Save a few raspberries for garnish, if desired. Add the rest to a small saucepan. Add sugar and lemon juice and set the pan over medium heat, stirring as soon as the sugar starts to dissolve. Simmer for about 5 minutes, mashing the berries with a potato masher, and stirring occasionally until slightly thickened. Strain the sauce into a bowl and chill, covered, until ready to use.

Serve over unmolded panna cotta with grated chocolate. I’m going to use bowls, whether the panna cotta has set or not.

And She Cooks is right about what a great dessert this is. It’s simple, but looks fancy, and it tastes great. My husband tried to guess what it was, first guessing custard, one of his favorite desserts. Now I’m trying to figure out all kinds of other things to do with panna cotta.